Being at Oculus Connect 2 (their annual developer conference) was super exciting, not just because of all of the announcements (and there were plenty of them) but because it is really amazing to see how a developer community comes together from the very beginning and matures over time. 1500 people showed up in Hollywood for this 2 day show and they came from all over the world, almost all very excited by the prospects for VR and what they will be able to do with it in their respective spheres.
Given the number of startups that desperately want to build developer communities, some non-obvious observations from what I've learned having been a part of this journey (though peripherally as an investor) since the beginning:
- it's not about the money: too many people want to make it a simple game of economics but the reality is that the first 1,500 people will come to your party in order to be a part of the future. Atman's keynote is worth watching here— he had a very sweet description of this when he told a story about an old boss telling him "These are the good old days."
- instability will be tolerated: there were jokes about the dark days of the Oculus SDK on PCs going through display hell and people actually laughed. It's a community on the bleeding edge of the future after all and it very much feels like instability is much preferred to poor communication and a lack of transparency
- it can feel intimate for a while. At 1,500 people and with some big name publishers, one would think it would start to feel like the typical scaled up tech conference but OC2 still feels like a place where anyone can ask anything of anyone else and not fear the RTFM type responses which can become common in the larger communities